July 23, 2010

Weekly Airline News Roundup – Happy Days Are Here Again!

Happy days are here again… or so it seems. This week in the airline industry brought second quarter earnings announcements, most of which were good news. There was also a good deal of growth in the way of orders for new aircraft (thanks to this week’s Farnborough Airshow, the biennial plane-buying extravaganza) and airlines entering into new markets.

US Airways earnings climbed, while United beat expectations. American posted a narrower loss than expected and Continental beat Wall Street estimates. And Delta saw profits, but a fall in its stock price.

American orders 35 more 737 planes, Virgin America plans to add 40 A320s (plus new service to Orlando). LAN is adding 50 new A320s to its fleet and Azul, meanwhile, plans to not only add more E-Jets, but also an entire new fleet type: ATR Turboprops! And Emirates announced that they are ordering 30 new 777′s from Boeing.

In even more growth news, AirTran will start flying to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cape Air will launch service to Anguilla. Continental and United reached a pact with pilots on a package for the impending merger. And the slick new 787 touched down in England this week, after its first transatlantic flight!

Despite all of the recent thumbs-up in the industry this week, a report shows that the work force has actually shrunk, with airlines hoarding their cash rather than  beefing up their payroll. Speaking of cash, airlines are going to have to spent a bit of it to comply with new cargo inspection rules, but this is one expenditure worth making.

In other industry news this week, super chic Porter Airlines of Toronto got a shout-out in The Times for its unique experience… and in other news, their CEO sued Air Canada for pulling his unlimited travel pass that he scored after selling them a regional airline back in the 80s! An independent report shows that the three-hour tarmac delay rule has been causing more delays (and headaches) than not. British Airways cabin crew rejected the latest pay offer and Israeli Air Force jets intercepted what was believed might have been a hijacked plane from Ethiopia. False alarm. A flight attendant is having a rough run, after throwing a coffee pot at a co-worker’s head and landing himself in jail, he threatened to release classified information to terrorists, a man tried to smuggle 18 monkeys in his girdle, one airline CEO said luggage was “not essential” for vacation, and another airport crew made the decision to kick the lowest-paying passengers off the plane to meet weight requirements.

We had an extraordinarily big, happy news week, with announcements of our own record, second quarter profits, a new interline agreement with EL AL, news that we won the Airline Strategy Award from Airline Business, a new Getaways offering with extra TrueBlue points for the taking, and the start of our interline agreement with American. Surely we’re saving the best for last when we point out this week that we also announced a very super duper special private intimate delicious concert with the famed, beautiful, talented, Sarah McLachlan at T5 terminal at JFK next Thursday.

The skies above are clear. So let’s sing a song. Take it away Barbra!

As always, safe travels and have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

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